Oracle turns attention to applications management

Oracle is extending its Enterprise Manager software via new packs so the product can be used to fully manage Oracle applications.

Oracle is to broaden its Enterprise Manager 10g software to include comprehensive applications management. The vendor will make the new capabilities available with the upcoming release of three new management packs for three of its different enterprise applications families.

The goal is to provide its customers with a common way to manage all their application and system components via Enterprise Manager, according to Oracle's senior director of development for system management products, Preeti Somal. The idea is to manage both Oracle and third-party applications from other software vendors or custom-built by users, she said.

Oracle is due to formally announce the new packs on Monday. The packs will include service level management, application performance management, configuration management and change automation functionality to help users better manage and monitor their Oracle applications. Giving users more control over their applications via Enterprise Manager's centralised dashboards should help them lower their IT support costs.

The first of the three packs, the Oracle Application Management Pack for PeopleSoft Enterprise, should be available within the next 30 days. Similar packs for the company's E-Business Suite and Siebel applications should ship in spring 2007, Somal said. The packs are designed for use with PeopleSoft Enterprise version 8.4 through 9.0, E-Business Suite release 11i and 12 and Siebel 7.7 through 8.0. Each pack will cost $US6000 per CPU.

Not covered by the announcement is Oracle's fourth family of applications, J.D. Edwards. Currently, Oracle doesn't plan an individual application management pack for J.D. Edwards, but would consider offering one if customers asked for it, Somal said.

She pointed out that there are capabilities within Enterprise Manager to manage applications built on J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition), Microsoft's .Net or SOA (service-oriented architecture) open standards. J.D. Edwards applications are heavily based on J2EE so users could manage the applications using Enterprise Manager, she added.

"Our goal is to be a comprehensive application management tool," Somal said. She expected Oracle to bring out more packs to manage specific third-party applications next year, but she wouldn't offer specifics.

Enterprise Manager will also be the platform for managing Oracle's new suite of Fusion applications currently under development and due out in 2008, Somal said. "You will be able to manage a mixed environment of pre-Fusion as well as Fusion applications from a single management tool," she added. Somal used the term "pre-Fusion" to indicate Oracle's current applications such as PeopleSoft and Siebel.

Oracle has been taking gradual steps to open up its Enterprise Manager family of data centre management software beyond simply managing Oracle products, notably its database and Fusion middleware.

The vendor has already introduced a number of plug-ins to extend the management software to non-Oracle offerings such as Microsoft's SQL Server and IBM's DB2 database and middleware from BEA Systems, Microsoft and IBM. Oracle also provides plug-ins to some network switches and storage devices.

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